Celebrating Australia

I don’t really get what ‘UnAustralian’ means.  Lets face it, as the culture of our country – and all countries – continues to diversify, a ‘national identity’ is something that may well be becoming harder and harder to describe, to pinpoint.  For some reason, I associate the word ‘UnAustralian’ most with former PM John Howard, someone who is certainly anything but ‘UnAustralian’, whatever it means.

Politicians love saying ‘UnAustralian’, which is a fair indicator that it’s nonsense…

Fact is, we have a lot to celebrate in this country but at this time of the year, a lot of people take the opportunity to get up on their high-horse and rant and rave about racism and colonialism and invasion and our government and genocide and all things, well UnAustralian.  – Or is that really what they mean?  Hang on, aren’t racism, colonialism, invasion and genocide part of Australian culture?  – I’m being ironic, but that is what they’re talking about, and now you’re thinking: but its true!

Here’s my gripe though:  Sure our country was founded by a bunch of conquering British who came ashore and virtually stole the land from the native owners, and yes we celebrate the heritage of our country – whatever that means to you – on the day that this did indeed occur.  We’re certainly not celebrating the fact that some people – who we didn’t encourage, whose actions we didn’t/dont condone and who many probably don’t even know about – treated the natives of this country unfairly, and claimed their land, however.  To me, that is UnAustralian.

No-one is sitting around and chinking glasses with their friends thinking ‘fuck those aborigines, we sure showed them!’ – And if they are, it’s not just on Australia day that their racist, ignorant sentiments are a danger and disgrace to our society, and society in general.  Wake up.

Furthermore, I would vouch that there’d be some native to this great country that would also join in the celebrations on Jan 26th and indeed, the whole ‘staya day weekend – why not?  – We’re lucky to live here, all of us.  So much so, I’m not even going to bother listing the myriad reasons why, because as an Australian, you can fucking think of them yourself.  And if you can’t you’re not trying hard enough…  Better still, you’re free to leave.

I’ve traveled all over the world, and I can say with pride that people in countries everywhere are fascinated, intrigued, even jealous of what we have in our big brown land.  From its glorious beauty, our rainforests and boundless beaches and amazing deserts and barrier reef, our wine, our meat, our sporting culture, our healthy music scene (fuck the hottest 100 though, triple J has gone to complete shit), to our insane range of weird, wild, wonderful and plain dangerous fauna and flora (and even our social services!), everyone is always very inquisitive when they meet an Aussie.

Australia - nothing good to focus on here

Australia – nothing good to focus on here

I can also admit that we’re probably known for being extremely racist. But that’s simply just ignorance, and there are racist people everywhere – Americans, Israelis, British, Indians, Thais – I’ve encountered them personally.  Maybe we put our efforts into educating each other, into connecting, into joining arm in arm, into friendship and mateship – instead of hateship – and everyone can open their minds a little and chill the fuck out.  Instead, we’re starting arguments, fights.

And for the rest of the year, all the haters are crawling back into their holes and forgetting how ‘against’ the government they are, they’re largely ignoring their brothers and sisters struggling on the street (or maybe they’re even putrified at their daytime drunkeness?), not bothering to share their apparent ‘wisdom’ with those who’ll care to listen, but talking about the next alt-indie-music-formula that’ll potentially make them famous on the J’s.

Maybe crazy clarks sells 2 dollar soapboxes on Jan 26th as well? …

Complaining? – Now that is UnAustralian.  So much so, that everyone ranting and raving about nationalism and racism and ignorance over Jan 26th is actually becoming tiring and cliche, when they could just sit back, enjoy some times with friends and celebrate what this country has given us – which at the very least, is each other.

Get over it.  Drink some beer instead of haterade.

It’s always fun to hit an easy target.  On Oz day, you can spot the ignorant tools, but with all the complaining during a time of celebration that should be positive and about unity – focusing on something we had little to no choice over – the soapbox mounters are really just an easy target too (if bandwagons arent your thing?) ….

Let’s spare a thought for our brothers and sisters who first inhabited this land, but be free to have fun, celebrate, laugh, smile and make good memories with friends and family, as most of us do, at all times of year.  And have a look around you – I’m sure everyone – of multiple and diverse creed and kind – is just trying to have a good time.

Leave the hate at the gate.  Fucken celebrate, ya poof.

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